The Wider World

Taliban is advancing quickly

TALIBAN REBELS are advancing quickly across Afghanistan (Shutterstock).

Taliban rebels in Afghanistan are continuing their advance across the nation, conquering four more provincial capitals on Friday.

According to the Associated Press, the fundamentalist Islamic forces have taken control of four additional regional capitals, meaning that half of the nation’s provincial capitals and over two-thirds of the country’s area are under Taliban control.

In some news reports, while Afghan special forces and air force have given a good account of themselves, many regular Afghan troops have fled before the Taliban attacks, and some even have switched sides.

The New York Times is reporting that the United States spent over $83 billion training and equipping the Afghan military, and based forces in the central Asian nation for 20 years, but two weeks after President Joe Biden announced an end to America’s armed role in the nation, the Taliban is on the verge of a stunning victory.

At its peak, the Afghan military had 300,000 troops, but in recent weeks, the real count was closer to one-sixth of that total, reports The Times.

The heat goes on, reports the NOAA

CLIMATE CHANGE: July was the hottest July on record (Shutterstock).

July was the hottest month for planet Earth since record-keeping began, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Friday.

The NOAA announced that temperatures around the world averaged 62.07 degrees, topping the previous record set in July 2016 of 62.05.

“In this case first place is the worst place to be,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad in a press release, according to the AP. “This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”

The record-keeping goes back 142 years.

A third dose OK’d for weaker immune systems

A THIRD VACCINE shot has been OKd for those with compromised immune systems.

According to the Reuters news service, the vaccines approved for such use are from Pfizer and Moderna. The “jabs” can be administered immediately and no prescription or proof will be required to receive the additional inoculation.

The policy comes as the Delta variant has fueled a big increase in new COVID-19 cases. It doesn’t apply to those who have taken the one-dose J&J vaccine.

New cases of the coronavirus have surged in recent weeks, especially among those who have never been vaccinated.

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